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Fairfax County’s next county executive is a familiar face. Edward Long Jr., 59, retired as deputy county executive last May after a 34-year career with the county.

The Board of Supervisors appointed Long at its meeting Tuesday. He will receive an annual salary of $257,282 and said he will be giving up his retirement annuity to come out of retirement.

“The county is truly fortunate that Ed decided to come out of a well-deserved retirement to lead the county,” said Supervisor Penelope Gross (D-Mason).

County Executive Anthony Griffin, who has led the county’s professional staff since 2000, is slated to retire later this month. Long will take over April 25.

Long, an Alexandria native who now lives in Centreville, joined the county as a budget analyst in 1977 and worked his way up through the ranks, serving as the county budget director prior to becoming the chief financial officer and deputy county executive. Despite his budget-focused background, Long said he is familiar with all aspects of county operations.

“I would consider myself more of a generalist,” Long said, noting that his college background is in political science and urban studies.

However, the incoming county executive also views budget matters as the biggest challenge facing the county right now. He said the county leadership is still grappling with “the new normal” shrinking revenue streams to meet growing needs.

“We’ve got to be creative,” he said.

kschumitz@fairfaxtimes.com